Gunpowder measure from the civil war period

Just how much Market Lavington was involved in the English civil war is not known. The major Battle of Roundway took place on 13th July 1643, just to the north of Devizes but it seems unlikely that skirmishes took place in the Lavington area.

So probably the 17th century powder-measure, found in a field in the parish and given to the museum, was just a normal part of life for a local person. He, no doubt, was annoyed at his loss. More than three hundred years on, his loss has become our gain.

Powder horn cap and measure

The lead made item served a dual purpose, for it was the lid for a powder horn – the bulk store of gunpowder that people carried. It was made of such a size that it could be used to measure the correct quantity of gunpowder for one shot.

Market Lavington Museum is delighted to work with a local metal detectorist so that such treasures can be seen by the wider public.

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2 Responses to “Gunpowder measure from the civil war period”

  1. Mr. Clive Bowd BSc. Heritage Consultant. Says:

    I believe you will find this is in fact the cap from an ‘apostle’, a pre-measured amount of powder that will have been enclosed in a turned wood or tinned metal cannister, twelve of which would have been hung from a bandoleer carried by a musketeer, hence the name. Such finds are common from Civil War battle sites and sieges. Your photo shows the cap upside down! The average cap measures approx. 31mm across the bottom, 29mm across the flat top x 19mm high and weighs 20g. Most are found crushed flat, the diameter being on average 20mm when not distorted.

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